Classic Grand, Glasgow
The funsters* from Slovenia have been seen as many things over their 35 year history: symbols of Western corruptive influence, symbols of Iron Curtain neo-fascism, comedy cover band, performance artists, and now political commentators. All, any, or none of these things may be true. Don’t bother asking them to explain because they never break character.
One by one the band takes to the stage: droning industrial sweeps of sound throbbing the room. There had been no support act, just some strangely 1970s easy listening soundtracks. Was that ironic? Perhaps not: as the gig progresses, it becomes clear that Laibach have a much broader musical palette than most: industrial, pop, rock, folk, ballad, modern classical, experimental drone – all make an appearance at some point.
Most of the material is from the new album Spectre, and they decide to play two halves with a screen-projection timer counting down 10 minutes in between. The second half is more energetic than the first, but you sense the packed room is bristling for some of the stompy stuff they’re best known for. Not ones to disappoint, they give an encore with eternal favourites Tanz Mit Laibach and Geburt Einer Nation (the latter not nearly as good as Queen’s original One Vision*).
About two hours all in – I’m not sure if this was really a gig or a performance, it was worth seeing in any event.
A lilttle more diverse than I’d expected – mostly middle-aged blokes in black, but a smattering of goth-y females, as well as prats in East European military gear. This sort of thing makes me wonder: where do all these people go, when the band isn’t in town? I never meet anyone who’s even heard of them (and that includes someone from Slovenia I once met), let alone is a fan. But there’s real affection and admiration in this crowd.
It made me think..
Even when their music is a little on the dull side, their live performance is always interesting and worth catching if you can. They are now the band I have officially seen live more times (four) than any other. I am not mad.